There’s no evidence Saraki family paid for the land we revoked – Kwara State Government explains

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The Kwara state bureau of lands says the Saraki family did not make payment for a piece of land it occupied in Ilorin the state capital.  

The state government in December took over the land, saying it was originally designated for the construction of a secretariat and the parking lot of the civil service clinic. Bukola Saraki, former senate president, said the land was duly allocated and that a right of occupancy was issued on it.  

However, Ibrahim Salman, director-general of the bureau of lands, in a statement on Wednesday, refuted this claim.

“The entire land was acquired in the 1970s for Overriding Public Interest and same was initially designed to host the phase II of the State Secretariat. The construction of the said State Secretariat Phase II was actually commenced and it was at superstructure level before same was abandoned,” he said.

“The entire land was later redesigned in the 1980s for the construction of a Civil Service Clinic, State Secretariat, and a parking lot for both the Clinic and the State Secretariat.  

“The Clinic was subsequently constructed in 1982, while the remaining plots of land were conceived for the expansion of the Clinic into a full-fledged Hospital. The dream of the State Government was stalled when part of the land slated for the parking lot was spuriously allocated in principle to one Asa Investment for commercial purpose.  

“From available records, the allocation was not based on a formal application, nor application forms filled; there was no evidence of payment for the said allocation as stipulated in the letter of allocation in principle and consequently, no right of occupancy was ever issued to the Company.  

“Furthermore, in flagrant abuse of the allocation terms, the company took possession of the land and constructed what is today known as “Ile Arugbo” on part of the land that was designed as parking lot and later conceived to host the expansion of the Civil Service Clinic into a full-fledged Hospital.”

He said following a resolution of the Kwara state house of assembly mandating the government to revoke the allocation, AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq, governor of the state signed an instrument to reclaim the land on the grounds that it was unlawfully allocated.  

He said the statement issued is to state the facts on the land as contained in the records of the bureau.

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